After 4 (enforced) years away from London, Tyler, The Creator attempted to make his first return earlier this year at a surprise show in Peckham : it ended in overcrowded carnage, causing the whole event to finish before it even began. There is a thunderous noise as Tyler steps onto the stage in full ‘IGOR’ persona: bright yellow suit, check. Blond wig, check. He stands motionless, baiting the crowd, illuminated by a spotlight as the beat of ‘IGOR’S THEME’ rings out across the venue. He pops like a coiled spring towards the end of the track, with the audience going absolutely ballistic as the last notes ring out.
Tracks from ‘IGOR’ dominate the setlist, the sound of plush synthesisers and ticking beats ringing off the walls of the Academy – Tyler in full lounge-lizard mode. It’s a far cry from the caustic early days of Odd Future – which get a look in towards the end of the set when break-out tracks ‘Yonkers’ and ‘She’ are played back-to-back. They’re a far cry from where Tyler is now, but the energy provides a much-needed step up in pace from a set that was threatening to hurtle off on a wave of Tyler bopping around to his own backing tracks.
As a casual Tyler listener, his earnestness in revealing Igor, and thus himself, is compelling. It gets me thinking about that comma in his name—Tyler, the Creator. It forces a pause, a consideration. It’s not just some descriptor, but a title, a degree, an honorific.
Jaden Smith is an American actor and performer known for his iconic roles in The Pursuit of Happyness and The Karate Kid. In 2010, Smith’s collaboration with Justin Bieber on the song “Never Say Never” garnered him the No. 8 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified 5x Platinum in the US. Since then, he has opened for J. Cole’s KOD Tour alongside Young Thug and EarthGang and performed for the first time at Lollapalooza this year.
Tyler stopped by the most recent episode of the Broken Record podcast, sitting down with legendary producer Rick Rubin to discuss his most recent album, IGOR But the conversation quickly turned to his thoughts about Eminem. As the rapper was explaining the way he listens and appreciates music, Tyler fired some shots at Eminem’s sound.
Whether he’s bringing LGBTQ narratives to Hip-Hop through his music videos or changing the game altogether with his Camp Flog Gnaw festival , Tyler, The Creator definitely knows how to get his names in headlines. However, his latest attention-grabbing act may have went a little overboard and been a complete fabrication to begin with.
Tyler’s “Earfquake,” which gets a mention in the new Nardwuar interview, earlier this month became the first Tyler song ever to receive an official remix. The honor went to Channel Tres , whose take on the IGOR cut arrived on the heels of the “A Boy Is a Gun” video.
Listen to IGOR above and see upcoming tour dates and album details below. Speaking on Rick Rubin’s ‘Broken Record’ podcast, Rubin asked Tyler if there were any rappers he listened to specifically for their lyrics.
Alan asks Okonma if he has a picture he can sign. I don’t keep anything on me. I see this in the mirror all the time,” he says, gesturing to his face. But he takes a picture outside instead and promises to send it. A schoolboy walks past, looking mildly confused, as if telling himself he couldn’t have just seen Tyler, the Creator in the suburbs of north London.
Tyler, the Creator is the stage name of American rapper Tyler Gregory Okonma. AMBER Gill was stunned when American rapper Tyler, The Creator surprised her with breakfast in Miami.
This one’s for the die-hard OG fans. It’s one of Tyler’s earliest standouts from his primordial Bastard mixtape and it comes from an era where Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All carried a dangerous, enigmatic reputation; a time when LA’s skate kids still had them all to themselves. Tyler in particular seemed to love being feared and it’s hard to think of anyone who’s married hip-hop bravado with a fly-your-freak-flag sense of intimidation better. Tyler knew from the get-go that it was his adolescent duty to terrify suburban parents everywhere.
The urgent question surrounding his latest album is: Who is Igor? The face Tyler presents to us on the LP’s cover channels Grace Jones’s influential 1981 pop album Nightclubbing—the stylized hair, the skin color, the inscrutable expression.
The album marks an important step in the evolution of Tyler, the Creator. The rapper first came into the spotlight in 2007 as the rambunctious teenage ringleader of Odd Future, a now mostly defunct Los Angeles-based rap collective that has spawned such musicians as Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, and Syd. Known for their punk antics, explicitly sexual and violent lyrics, and general hooliganism, there was a certain edge to their ideas that carries over into their artistry today.
Tyler Okonma was born and raised in Los Angeles County, splitting time in Ladera Heights and nearby Hawthorne. He got his first taste of fame when The Los Angeles Times ran a “teen on the street”-type story on the then-16-year-old skateboarding enthusiast, who was also interested in music and fashion. Around this time, Tyler began making music with Odd Future ‘s other core members, and in 2009 released a solo mixtape titled Bastard. By the end of the following year, OF ‘s surreal and filthy material, epitomized by Earl Sweatshirt ‘s mixtape Earl – most of which Tyler produced – had earned them a loyal following. It was during that year that a video Tyler directed for the OF track “French” took off, topping a million views by December and drawing attention to a slew of additional crew-related mixtapes that followed.
Tyler, the Creator is also a fashion designer. When asked whether there were any rappers who he listened to specifically for the lyrics, he chose Eminem, but slammed the beats he raps over.
Known for his explosive personality and absurdist lyrical content, Tyler released his debut mixtape, Bastard in 2009. Subsequent releases were his debut studio album, Goblin , in 2011 under XL Recordings, Wolf in 2013 under Odd Future Records, Cherry Bomb in 2015, and released Flower Boy in 2017 under Columbia Records. In November 2018, he released Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch , a 6-track EP inspired from his work with Illumination’s movie The Grinch. Most recently, in May 2019 he released IGOR , an album with a unique sound compared to his other work. It also became his first project to top the Billboard 200.
Tyler, The Creator has claimed that Eminem picks some of the worst beats ever” on a new podcast – listen below. StubHub is your source for all tickets to the Tyler, the Creator tours, events and concerts.
Igor, his artiest and most beguiling release to date, loosely follows its titular character and his messy and possibly unrequited feelings for a boy. While the album’s second track, “Earfquake,” is a straightforward, soul-inspired love song (originally written for Justin Bieber), the threads of affection begin to unspool pretty quickly.
Instead of Jones’s cigarette, the more millennial-appropriate grill glints between Tyler’s lips. Already the rapper is visually cueing to us, the listeners, what he’s trying to embody in this most recent record—a persona that’s all feeling, immediately iconic, relevant.
Though there is an affecting vulnerability to his conversational singing voice, Tyler is still strongest with this more malevolent rap material. There is more complexity to a track like 2013’s IFHY, as he tussles with love and violent jealousy; the goth energy to Igor track What’s Good chafes nicely against the silken drapes. But throughout, Tyler has a blithe star quality that can’t be taught, or indeed repressed. Welcome back.
And with that, Tyler the Creator landed. The line that made him famous is also arguably the most iconic opening line in modern rap history. Name one other rapper who has made their mark on the rap landscape with such razor-sharp precision. This is a lyrical statement of intent. In under ten words Tyler brought us the irreverent wit, schizophrenic surrealism and hyper-intelligence masquerading as class clownery that have come to define his career.
Tyler’s solo career has broadly relied on the shocking and confrontational, represented by a different persona with each release. His breakthrough album Goblin (2011) was typified by the ski mask. In 2013’s Wolf, Tyler preferred a summer-camp aesthetic, while 2015’s Cherry Bomb—Tyler’s least celebrated and most sonically grating album—found him committing to a melting pink cartoon face.
Tyler is, of course, a notorious troll, making it difficult to take anything he says seriously, and stories about sexuality realistically shouldn’t be making headlines in this day and age. It’s 2017, some people aren’t straight – it’s not a big deal. It becomes a big deal, however, in the context of Tyler’s alleged past homophobia ; not only was he recorded using the word ‘fag’ a grand total of 213 times on 2011 album Goblin (which he’s said he doesn’t see as a slur), he’s previously written questionable lyrics about the trans community and rebranded a white power slogan for a gay pride T-shirt – although he did have a thorough, intellectual and arguably justifiable explanation for the latter.
Whether you agree or disagree with Tyler, it’s undeniable aesthetics play an essential role in how music is processed. If it weren’t for the beats, chords, and rhythms that make up, say, Tyler’s most recent album IGOR , then we’d be listening to nothing more than isolated vocals for 40 minutes. The music for any given song is half, if not more, of the equation.
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the past few years of his career has been his expansion into other artistic ventures outside of music. He has continued to develop his clothing line Golf Wang with biannual fashion shows to flaunt new collections and collaborations with established brands such as Converse, and he has added multiple TV productions to his list of credits: 2017 brought the premieres of Nuts & Bolts, a Viceland TV series he produces and stars in, and The Jellies!, an ongoing Adult Swim animated comedy series he produces. He also directs all of his music videos, providing yet another outlet for his offbeat impulses.
Tyler has found himself at the centre of negative media attention for his use of homophobic slurs,frequently the use of the epithet faggot in his lyrics and on social media. He personally denied the accusations of homophobia, stating, “I’m not homophobic. I just say faggot and use gay as an adjective to describe stupid shit,” and, “I’m not homophobic. I just think faggot hits and hurts people”. He appears to understand very little of the impact of his derogatory use of language. However Tyler, The Creator was the first to openly show support for fellow Odd Future member Frank Ocean after he revealed he had a relationship with another younger man. The young rapper has managed to collect a number of nominations at the MTV Music Video Awards, along with acclaim for his solo discography and work within Odd Future despite numerous controversies surrounding his lyrical content.
In the 45-minute discussion Tyler also opened up about songs from his new album, ‘IGOR’, as well as his love for melody over lyrics. The subreddit for all content relating to music and fashion icon, Tyler, The Creator.
This summer – his arch nemesis, Theresa May, safely out of the picture – he made a triumphant return to the UK. And a lot can change in four years. Odd Future were youth culture behemoths, coming to define the look, sound and manners of large swathes of a whole disenfranchised generation. As the crew’s leader, Tyler’s approach to lyrics and tune was often the punk-rap equivalent of a Jackass marathon. But he’s now six albums deep and his output has become more thoughtful and nuanced in both sound and message.